This past weekend was the Renault Simola Hillclimb, the climax of the 2012 Knysna Speed Festival. This is what happened.The idea of the Renault Simola Hillclimb is simple: Racers arrive in a variety of cars, and are separated into classes depending on weight and power, From there, you race up a hill to the Simola Golf Estate. Think of it as a Goodwood Festival of Speed for South Africa.
The weekend seperated into 2 main parts: The Classic Car Friday for pre-1974 vehicles and then the main event; King of the Hill Shootout.
Classic Car Friday
The diverse field of entries ranged from a miniscule 1937 DKW F7 Meistertklasse Cabriolette to large, proud and splendid Bentleys reminiscent of the 1920s all charging up the hill.
Honours for the Classis Car Friday event went to Corban Slabbert who, deftly defying the elements in a compact 1965 Austin Mini Cooper S, recorded a time of 1:00.740.
King of the Hill Shootout
The main event. Muscle, tuners and exotics. Contestants turn up in a range of cars that are stock standard, supercar or tuned monsters and drive up the hill at insane speeds.
Due to the gloomy weather, one location caused two cars to leave the track in the most spectacular fashion.
The King of the Hill Shootout grand finale was full of Nissan Skylines. The top 7 places were Skylines – R34‘s and GT-R’s! Jade Gutzeit took pole position with a time of 41.993 while his father, Des, cruised into second place clocking up a time of 41.945. Jaki Scheckter earned a well-deserved third place recording a time of 42.020.
Quick off the mark, the Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Jaguar and Porsche exotica appeared remarkably civilised while powering up to reach and maintain highly competitive speeds. Deon Joubert, driving the Jaguar XKRS, gave a spectacular display on how not to conserve tyre tread leaving the spectator stands shrouded in black smoke and the smell of burning rubber after he had finished spinning the Jaguar around the track in a thrilling display of superb driving skill.